Neo-Russian Arts

Architecture and urban planning

With the founding of Saint Petersburg (1703), new principles of urban planning and architecture penetrated Russia. The capital, built mainly by Western European architects, was shaped by the strict style v. Chr. a. D. Trezzinis coined. With the Peter and Paul Cathedral (1712–32), which was built as a hall church and high west tower, he set the first accent in sacred architecture that was unusual for Russia. Beside him worked v. a. Giovanni Maria Fontana, G. Skull, Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Leblond and A. Schlüter as planners and builders. In the middle of the 18th century it was v. a. BF Rastrelli , who under Peter I. still restrained architecture increased to the highest monumentality and magnificence. With the Winter Palace (1754–64) and the Stroganov Palace in Saint Petersburg (1752–54) as well as the Great Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo (1752–57) he created a special Russian form of the late Baroque. Together with Alexei W. Kwasow he also succeeded in adapting the traditional Russian five-domed church to the new architectural ideas (Church of the Smolny Monastery in Saint Petersburg, 1748–64). Major Russian architects were S. I. Tschewakinski and Dmitri W. Uchtomski.

Under Catherine II, the language of forms in architecture became more moderate and the turn to early classicism took place. Academy of Arts (1764–88) and Small Hermitage (1764–67), both by J.-B. Vallin de la Mothe, Pavlovsk Castle (1782–86) by Charles Cameron. St. Petersburg Classicism found its perfection in the buildings of G. Quarenghi (Academy of Sciences, 1783–89; Alexander Palace in Tsarskoe Selo, 1792–96), A. D. Sakharov (Admiralty, 1806–23) and W. P. Stasov (Pavlovsk Barracks, 1817/18). W. I. Baschenow (Paschkow House, 1784–86) and M. F. Kazakow worked in Moscow (Senate building in the Kremlin, 1776–87; University, 1786–93).

After the Napoleonic Wars, K. Rossi created large architectural complexes in Saint Petersburg, such as the semicircle of Palace Square with the building of the General Staff and the Triumphal Arch (1819-29).

Late Classicist and historicist buildings were also largely built by foreigners in Saint Petersburg, such as the Isaac Cathedral (plans 1817, execution 1819–58, A. R. de Montferrand) and the New Hermitage (1839–52, L. von Klenze). In the second half of the 19th century, the neo-baroque (e.g. opera and ballet theater in Odessa, 1884-87) or neo-Gothic (e.g. Morozov town villa in Moscow, 1893) architectural forms became a neo-Russian style opposite (including the Historical Museum, 1878–83, Tretyakov Gallery, around 1900, both in Moscow; Odessa train station, 1879–83). Examples of a perfect Russian or European Art Nouveau come from, among others. by F. O. Schechtel (Yaroslavl station, 1902, Villa Rjabuschinski, 1900-02, both Moscow) and AW Shtusev (Kazan station, 1914-26, Moscow).


In the 18th century, sculpture was closely linked to architecture and was in the tradition of the European late Baroque, such as the sculpture ensemble “Great Cascade” created by BC Rastrelli in Peterhof. BC Rastrelli also created representative portrait busts and monuments. The busts worked by FI Schubin are characterized by a socially haunting characterization. The equestrian monument of Peter I by É.-M. Falconet in Saint Petersburg (unveiled in 1782). Towards the end of the 18th century experienced the now classicist building-related sculpture (including F. F. Schtschedrin, Iwan P. Prokofjew, * 1758, † 1828; Fyodor G. Gordejew, * 1744, † 1810) as well as monument and tomb art (especially IP Martos) flourished. Representatives of late classicist sculpture after the Napoleonic Wars included: Stepan S. Pimenow (* 1784, † 1833) with building-related sculpture, F. P. Tolstoi with small-format reliefs and medals. Classicism and a new realism were combined in the work of B. I. Orlowski (especially monumental sculpture). In the second half of the 19th century, M. M. Antokolski especially appeared who created strongly psychologizing portrait sculptures of historical personalities. Under the influence of Impressionism, Russian sculpture experienced a new boom at the end of the 19th century. Became known v. a. P. P. Trubetskoi. The impressionist line followed, among others. A. Golubkina and ST Konjonkow , who, however, already came to a more compact conception of form. With W. J. Tatlin, A. Pevsner , N. Gabo (the Ukrainian A. Archipenko and the Lithuanian J. Lipchitz in Paris) the transition to modernism (constructivism) began. O. Zadkine worked in the succession of Cubism.


The establishment of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts (1757) promoted the increasing independence of Russian painting, for which the 18th century became the “century of portraits” (including A. P. Antropow, O. A. Kiprensky, D. G. Levizki, I. N. Nikitin, FS Rokotow ). In the early 19th century the peasant genre portrait and picture (WA Tropinin , AG Wenezianow ), the academic history painting (KP Brüllow ; Alexei E. Jegorow, * 1776, † 1851; later A. A. Ivanov and others), the landscape (Silwestr F Shchedrin), the moral image (P. A. Fedotow), the architectural painting (F. J. Alexejew). I. K. Ajwasowski took a special position with his dramatic seascapes.

The protest against the generally prevailing academicism in Russian painting of the 19th century led to the establishment of the Peredwischniki cooperative in 1870, which determined the artistic life of Russia for several decades. Among their most important representatives were A. J. Archipow, W. J. Makowski, GG Mjassojedow , W. G. Perow, K. A. Sawizki (above all socially critical genre painting), N. A. Yaroshenko, I. N. Kramskoi (mainly portrait painting), I. J. Repin (portrait and group picture), N. N. Ge, W. I. Surikow (realistic) History painting), I. I. Schischkin, the impressionist I. I. Levitan (landscape painting), W. W. Vereschtschagin. The most famous representative of Russian symbolism was M. A. Wrubel.

In a provocative turning away from the socially frozen topic and the anachronistic understanding of art of the Peredwischniki, in the search for new styles and concepts, various, sometimes very short-lived groups of artists and exhibition groups emerged: “World of Art” (“Mir Iskusstwa”), 1898 (v. A. L. Bakst, A. N. Benois, J. J. Lansere, K. A. Somow), “Blue Rose”, 1907 (including Pawel W. Kuznetsov, * 1878, † 1968; Nikolai N. Sapunow, * 1880, † 1912; M. S. Sarjan), “Karo- Bube ”, 1911 (D. Burliuk and Wladimir D. Burliuk, * 1886 or 1887, † 1917; R. R. Falk; I. I. Maschkow; P. P. Konschalowski et al.), “Donkey Tail”, 1912 (N. Goncharova , M. F. Larionow et al.). The members of “Jack of Diamonds”, the core of which was also known as the Moscow Cézannists, created the Russian variant of Cubism, “Cubofuturism”. K. S. Malevich shaped Suprematism with his non-representational painting, while Pawel N. Filonow (* 1883, † 1941) cultivated an »analytical art«. The native Belarusian M. Chagall developed a melancholy-mystical expressionism. Quite a few Russian artists were directly integrated into Western European art developments and groups after 1900. B. W. Kandinsky, A. von Jawlensky and M. von Werefkin the German Expressionism. J. Pougny also worked in the vicinity of these various directions.

Neo-Russian Arts